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Link Report for Sun. 8/5 -- Hopf To It! Manatee Walk-Off Blast

Mass Haas

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Sunday's Daily Menu:


All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: RHP Mark DiFelice at Tacoma (Mariners), 3:20 PM pre-game; 3:35 gametime


Audio link:



Huntsville: LHP Lindsay Gulin at Mississippi (Braves), 1:50 PM pre-game; 2:05 gametime


Audio link:



Brevard County: TBD at home vs. Tampa (Yankees), 4:45 pre-game, 5:00 gametime


Audio link (game will also archive at this link):



West Virginia: RHP Chris Toneguzzi at Rome (Braves), 12:50 PM pre-game, 1:00 gametime


Audio link (game will also archive at this link):



Helena: RHP Chad Robinson at home vs. Billings (Reds), 4:50 PM pre-game, 5:05 gametime


Audio link (game will also archive at this link):



Arizona: TBD at home in the Maryvale complex vs. those little bratty Cubbies, 7:00 PM local time in Arizona, 9:00 Central; never any audio for Arizona Rookie League games

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Follow Sunday's action as it happens:

Here's what you do, right click on each of the links below and choose "Open in New Window". Open the Nashville Gameday. For the others, choose "Log". While you're listening to your minor league game of choice (or watching/listening to the big league Crew when they are playing), simply refresh your game log browsers every so often.








Brevard County:




West Virginia:











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These links will be included in each daily report when the Nashville Sounds and/or Huntsville Stars are scheduled to play. Normally they are updated an hour or two prior to gametime, with Nashville's usually earlier:


Nashville Media Notes (Adobe .pdf format):




Huntsville Media Notes (Adobe .pdf format):



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Standings through Saturday's action:

 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - PCL American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nashville 69 45 .605 - 37-17 32-28 W1 Iowa 63 52 .548 6.5 37-23 26-29 W3 Omaha 58 57 .504 11.5 37-18 21-39 W4 Memphis 47 68 .409 22.5 26-34 21-34 L3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Huntsville 25 17 .595 - 13-7 12-10 W3 Chattanooga 23 20 .535 2.5 12-11 11-9 L2 Tennessee 22 21 .512 3.5 15-8 7-13 L2 Carolina 21 21 .500 4.0 13-9 8-12 W2 West Tenn 16 26 .381 9.0 9-16 7-10 L4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brevard County 23 16 .590 - 13-7 10-9 W3 Jupiter 18 20 .474 4.5 9-6 9-14 W1 Palm Beach 19 22 .463 5.0 11-15 8-7 L3 St. Lucie 18 22 .450 5.5 6-12 12-10 W4 Daytona 18 24 .429 6.5 10-12 8-12 L1 Vero Beach 10 28 .263 12.5 5-13 5-15 L3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hickory 26 17 .605 - 15-9 11-8 L1 Lakewood 22 19 .537 3.0 13-8 9-11 W3 Lake County 21 20 .512 4.0 10-12 11-8 L2 Greensboro 20 23 .465 6.0 12-7 8-16 L2 Delmarva 19 23 .452 6.5 7-15 12-8 W1 Lexington 19 24 .442 7.0 12-10 7-14 L2 West Virginia 19 24 .442 7.0 10-9 9-15 L3 Hagerstown 13 29 .310 12.5 8-14 5-15 L3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Pioneer League (R+) - PIO North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Great Falls 4 2 .667 - 2-0 2-2 W3 Missoula 4 2 .667 - 3-0 1-2 W3 Billings 2 4 .333 2.0 2-1 0-3 L3 Helena 2 4 .333 2.0 2-2 0-2 L3 

Arizona League Standings:



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Manatees GM Buck Rogers:

It's the final month of the season and teams are now begining to bust out the calculators and slide rules to determine their playoff chances.


Because we have nothing better to do on a Saturday night, we decided to do the math for you so you can become the resident expert in your neighborhood or seating section on the current playoff possibilities.


If the season ended Saturday night it would be the Palm Beach Cardinals and the Brevard County Manatees in the FSL Eastern Division Playoffs. In the Western Division playoffs it would be the Tampa Yankees facing the Sarasota Reds.


Now that's if the season ended tonight. Those first place Yankees come into first place Brevard County Sunday. The Yankees swept the Manatees, four games to none, in Tampa earlier this season. Three of those games were decided by one run and one of those games went extra innings. We know Dunedin is chomping at the bit, 1.5 games behind the Yankees for that final playoff berth and they're expecting our guys to come thru and help their cause.


Here's a team by team breakdown of who's in, who's not in, and who's close as we come down the home stratch, the final four weeks of the season.


Playoff Possibilities

Eastern Division


- Already clinched playoff berth and has a 4.5 game lead over second place Jupiter, meaning the Wild Card format comes into play.



- Finish in first place OR

- Have Manatees maintain first place AND the team with the best overall record within the division of the five remaining teams will clinch the Wild Card berth

Current Wild Card Standings:

Team W-L .PCT GB

Palm Beach 55-56 .495 ---

Jupiter 49-59 .454 4.5

Daytona 50-61 .450 5.0

St Lucie 49-61 .445 5.5


Western Division


- Already clinched playoff berth


- Finish in first place OR

- Have Reds finish in first place AND the team with the best overall record within the division of the five remaining teams will clinch the Wild Card berth. Currently Tampa leads the division by 1.5 games over Dunedin making the Wild Card scenario unlikely.


It's a special 6:00 pm game Sunday (5:00 Central) for the Manatees and Yankees. Kids that say the Snip-it's phrase that pays at the box office will receive free admission! Gates open at 5:00 pm. Tomorrow will be out last Sara Lee bread delivery of the season. We'll have bread to distribute at the gates after the game so make sure you're freezer is empty before coming to the game tomorrow.


It's the Yanks and 'Tees, the battle of the first place teams and what could be the preview of the League Championship Series. Twice the Manatees have advanced to the finals. Both time against the Yankees. In 1994 the Yankees took out the 'Tees, three games to one. In 2001 the teams tied after the 9/11 events canceled the baseball playoffs. The way I see it, it's the Manatees turn to bring hold the gold. Tomorrow we'll get a good idea of how the Manatees will fare down the road. Four games that will shape the playoff picture. Four games where our guys can gauge their power against the future Evil Empire. Jason Giambi is currently on the Tampa Yankees roster. It doesn't get any better than this four game series. Cancel Christmas, put the cat out for the week and just leave the hose running, get the back to school shopping done on Thursday, because this series is what everybody's been waiting for all year. If you're a Red Sox fan it goes without saying that it's your God-given reason for being born to be here making the Yankees everything they deserve and then some.


If you can't make it you had better have a good excuse or you can return your fanhood card in Monday's mail to The Weiner, 5800 Stadium Parkway, Suite 101, Viera, FL 32940. Say it with him..."Let's Go, Man-a-TEES!"


Yeah, Vero Beach has Suzanne...we have The Weiner.




The Manatees' play-by-play man, Kirk Agius, with two more entries on the Manatees' site -- good stuff, Kirk, but talk to the IT staff about formatting -- paragraphs are our friend http://static.yuku.com/v2//domainskins/bypass/img/smileys/happy.gif





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Buck Rogers must absolutely love his job, I don't recall any MiLB GM with more enthusiasm and passion for his team, every week we seem to get something special from him. It's probably not that often, but it sure feels like it.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Check out my avatar for the remainder of this Link Report, it's an actual photo from Manatees GM Buck Rogers:


This morning we had a visitor in the seating bowl of Space Coast Stadium. He was just hanging out while the cleaning crew was blowing down the stadium's seating bowl of trash from last night's game. Although he was only three feet long, we called Animal Control to catch and release him back into the wild away from the stadium. The wildlife guy said he probably crawled right up the ramp, right thru the main gate of the stadium. We've had to chase raccoons out a couple times this season after we've had the gates opened, but gators are a first. I know we have a larger one in one of our retention ponds; probably Mama, that they're also going to try to catch.



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Unfortunately I will not be able to provide the play by play for the series against the Tampa Yankees. My apologies, but I think there may be a substitute in my place.


Kirk Agius


Voice of the Manatees

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Attended the Helena crew game tonight and it was a fine night for a ballgame but yielded poor results. The team seems dejected having lost a few games recently--hope they can turn the attitude around. Gindl crushed a homer to straightaway center but that was basically the lone highlight of the evening--other than Zealous Wheeler playing perfectly acceptably at SS. Merklinger continues to show decent stuff yet also prove hittable. Perhaps the most interesting play from the game was the final run which scored on a balk but was called during the midst of an intentional walk. I don't think I've seen that before at any level.
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Brent Brewer has struck out 142 times, and is still batting .260ish. Just for fun I played around with his numbers, his BABIP is over .510. I'm not a big fan of the "What If" game, but if I did math right he'd be hitting over .340 with half as many strike outs on the season given his BABIP over those 71 ABs. If this kid can learn some plate discipline we'll have something special here. His power numbers are excellent for his age and level, just those pesky Ks.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Final: Arizona Brewers 13, Arizona Cubs 3


Arizona Box Score:

17-year-old Dominican RHP Luis Guerrero continues to show he's the prize among the Latin pitchers in Maryvale right now; Brett Whiteside a home run, double, and walk; CF Charlie Iacono on base four times, drives in four -- huge game, his effort's surely been there all summer, but his overall numbers pale as a 23-year-old in rookie ball...




Arizona Game Log:


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Final: Brevard County 5, Tampa (Yankees) 3, ten innings




Hopf's blast lifts Manatees in 10


J.R. Hopf belted a two-run walk-off homer in the 10th inning to lift Brevard County over Tampa, 5-3, on Sunday.


With one out in the decisive frame and the score tied, 3-3, Cole Gillespie singled. Hopf then cracked his second homer for the Manatees (24-16) to end the game.


Mat Gamel smacked a solo homer, his seventh, in the third, and Ryan Barba had two RBIs for Brevard County.


Manatees reliever Kevin Roberts (5-3) allowed one hit and struck out two without a walk in 1 2/3 scoreless innings to pick up the win.


Starter Brae Wright yielded two runs on four hits while fanning four over seven frames.


Jose Tabata led off the seventh with his fourth homer for the Yankees (29-15), whose four-game winning streak was snapped.


Tampa reliever Jose Valdez (3-3) surrendered two runs on four hits, fanning two and walking one over 2 1/3 frames to take the loss. Starter Brett Smith gave up three runs on four hits and four walks with four strikeouts in five innings. -- Alan Friedman/MLB.com


Brevard County Box Score:

Heck of an outing for Brae Wright; Cole Gillespie now 16-for-22 in SB attempts...




Brevard County Game Log:



You can hear the walk-off home run at the 3 hour, 17 minute mark, be sure you're on the archive for August 5th:



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Final: Huntsville 3, Mississippi (Braves) 1


Huntsville Site Game Summary:

Link, text follows --




Gulin Gives Stars Another Solid Effort


Lindsay Gulin worked seven strong innings to pitch Huntsville past Mississippi 3-1 on a hot and steamy Sunday afternoon in the middle game of a five-game set at Trustmark Park. The Stars improved to 26-17 in the second half and maintained their two and a half game lead over Chattanooga in the North Division, while the Braves slumped to 14-29 in the second half and 14 ½ games behind front-running Jacksonville in the South Division. The Stars took a five to three lead in the season series and improved to 30-26 on the road.


Adam Heether walked to lead off the second inning, moved to third base on a hit and run single by Ryan Crew and scored on a two-out single to right field by Guilder Rodriguez, who has driven all six of his runs this season on the road. Heether's single started a two-run rally in the sixth that extended the visitors lead to 3-0. He advanced to third base on a hit and run single by Mel Stocker that chased starter Charlie Morton from the game. Stocker stole second and the Braves elected to intentionally walk Ryan Crew to load the bases but the strategy backfired when Carlos Corporan, mired in a four-for-41 slump, ripped a line drive single to right field to plate Heether and Stocker to make it 3-0 Stars. Corporan knocked in his first runs since June 17 at home against Birmingham.


Mississippi answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning after loading the bases with one out. Matt Young bounced into a force out at second base to plate Carl Loadenthal, who had led off the inning with a double. Gulin worked out of further trouble by retiring Van Pope on a ground ball to end the inning. Hernan Iribarren collected his second three-base hit of the game leading off in the seventh but could not score, as Phil Stockman struck out Michael Brantley, retired Steve Sollmann on a pop up and fanned Heether to end the inning.


Gulin allowed seven hits, walked two and fanned five to improve to 11-3 and win his seventh straight decision. E.J. Shanks worked a perfect eighth inning and gave way to David Johnson, who gave up a leadoff single to Matt Young and walked Van Pope to open the ninth. However, the right-hander squelched a potential rally by fielding a sacrifice bunt attempt by Ray Serrano and throwing to third for the force out on Young before Adam Heether alertly threw across the diamond to Iribarren covering at first to double up Serrano. Johnson then fanned Mike Rozema to end the game and wrap up his third save with the Stars and seventh in as many opportunities on the season.


The series continues Monday night with left-hander Steve Hammond taking the hill for the Stars against Braves' left-hander Kelvin Villa. Coverage begins at 6:50 pm central time and can be heard on SportsRadio 730 WUMP and via the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com.


Huntsville Box Score:

Hurricane warning -- Hernan's at .550 over his last ten games (22-for-40, eight extra-base hits); Don Money went with a Sunday lineup, allowing the bench to get some needed AB's...




Huntsville Game Log:



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David Weiser's







The Stars won their 6th game in their last 7 as back-up catcher Carlos Corporan (.135 since June), after striking out twice against Charlie Morton, lined a single to right field in the 6th, driving in the crucial runs for the series victory over the Mississippi Braves at Trustmark Park on a steamy 95° Sunday afternoon....... I took my first trip to Trustmark Park this weekend, and I'll tell you my impressions later, but let's get today out of the way.


Adam Heether, 6-for-11 in this series, lit the fuse to the Stars' two-run 6th with a line drive single to left, then with the hit-and-run on, advanced to third on Mel Stocker's single through the right side....... That finished Morton, making his 3rd start in 35 appearances this season....... A stolen base by Stocker and an intentional walk to Ryan Crew filled the bases as reliever Phil Stockman faced Corporan, who laced his first pitch to right to break the tie, making Lindsay Gulin the Stars' first 11-game winner since Derek Lee in 2003....... It was Corporan's first RBI since June 17 and his first two-RBI game since May 11.


How hot is Hernan?....... After a 4-for-5 day, he's hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games, going 30-for-60, raising his average from .257 to .296. In that time, he's had 11 multi-hit games, four doubles, and five triples, and 11 hits in his last 16 at-bats....... Sunday, he became the 7th Huntsville Star in history to hit two triples in a game (the first since Elvis Pena on May 24, 2002)....... He is also the 6th hitter in Stars history to have at least eight triples in a season, the first since Dave Krynzel in 2003........ Brendan Katin got the day off after hitting his 19th HR on Saturday, a smash to left field over Matt Young's glove........ Steve Moss, who got off to another great April start (.311 this year, .273 last year), is hitting .219 since May with six HRs and 33 RBIs. In May, June, and July of last year, he hit .250, but just three HRs and 21 RBIs......... Guilder Rodriguez, who went just 2-for-20 in July, made his first start since July 25.


Gulin is not the guy I would most likely to have guessed to be the Stars first 10-game winner since Tim Dillard (last year), let alone, with at least four more starts this season, have a mathematical chance to become the Stars' first 15-game winner in history. He was sent down from Nashville May 7, and didn't pitch a game until May 11, and certainly didn't look like a big winner after a 2-2, 5.59 ERA as the month closed........ But since then, the minor league vet who had not won 11 games in organized ball since 2000, has won seven straight and gone 9-1 with a 2.38 ERA...... Because of his late start in the league, he barely lacks enough innings to qualify among the ten best ERA leaders, but he would place 7th. He does tie Matt Green of Mobile in victories, however.


The Braves rank 3rd among team leaders in batting and tops in pitching (a 3.69 ERA), but have been the league's doormats (14-29) since being decimated by promotions after winning the first half....... Gone, along with their chances of a second half title, are Brandon Jones (15, 74, .293), Jarrod Saltalamaccia (.309 in 22 games), Zach Schreiber (3-5, 2.22), Joey Devine (16 saves), and Jo-Jo Reyes (8-1, 3.56 in 13 starts)....... So, they have been easy pickins for a well-balanced Stars team that is now 26-17 (63-48 for the year)......


The Stars are 4th in RBIs in the league, despite their 6th place standing in batting, 1st in walks and triples, 3rd in stolen bases, last in fewest walks allowed, and 3rd in ERA, and from the looks of this, they are rivaling the '94 team that won the Southern League crown with the best pitching corps ever given us by Oakland (3rd in ERA), despite a .251 average.


One thing I have to give the Braves credit for is their ballpark....... I've seen every ballpark in this league, except for the one in Jacksonville, and this one is very impressive........ They did this one right and I only wish the city honchos in Huntsville who say they have no money, would come to Pearl, or perhaps Montgomery, to see what a real ballpark should look like...... Huntsville needs a new ballpark. Joe Davis Stadium is sadly outdated. Trustmark Park makes it clearly evident.


The park is easy to get to....... Off I-20 going West, get off Exit 47...... If you need a place to stay, you won't have to go far in either direction....... If you just want to get to the park, turn left at the exit onto Pearson Drive, then right on Riverwind Drive (and it really does wind) where you'll find a restaurant on the left and a movie theatre on the right. Keep going until you reach Childre Drive, take a right, then shortly you'll see the parking area in front of the ballpark on the left.


You buy your ticket in front of a grand entranceway, and you go through a large gate (they were giving out Andruw Jones bobbleheads, which I wound up absent-mindedly leaving behind when I left the park). Immediately you see everything you would want or need in front of you. From every vantage point along the wide, spacious covered concourse, you see concessions everywhere, with a wide variety of goodies ranging from chicken on a stick to BBQ pork sandwiches to cheesesteaks. There are not one, but two souvenir stores -- enclosed, of course, and nicely air-conditioned. And like Smokies Park, it has its own restaurant, situated behind the right field wall, an easy walk along the concourse with tables and umbrella shading for outdoor dining, if that is your preference. Someone greets you in, a waiter or waitress takes your drink order from a double-paged menu, and the food is great. You order and service is good.


You go back to your old wooden-style seats and they are comfortable -- similar to those I've experienced at older major league ballparks. No shifting around to get comfortable after just three innings........ There's less foul territory here and more of the action to see, and that's just what you get, as the foul lines tail off a little more than halfway to the outfield, where you have your bleacher creatures and fans on the berm, waiting for that foul ball to come their way (as one did in front of the scoreboard in the 1st inning, Saturday)...... Speaking of the scoreboard, it is state of the art -- sharp, small, but easy to read, particularly if you are sitting more towards third or left, and if you have better vision than mine........ Player stats are displayed on the video screen, which is about the same size as the one at the Joe, along with the player's photo........ And the crowd, which numbered barely over 4,000 Saturday, is really into the game, enjoying the familiar war-chanting and the en masse tomahawk chop whenever the Braves are set to rally........ It was truly an enjoyable experience, and a good game as well, with the Stars' Luis Pena holding off damage done when Bo Hall left the bases loaded in the 9th with a 6-2 lead to protect.


Steve Hammond will get the start for the Stars Monday night against Kelvin Villa (7-8, 5.19). He is 4-4, 4.64 in his last 10 games, but an impressive 6-2, 2.93 at home....... Hammond (6-7, 4.74) is 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA in his last 10 games. Hammond has also given up 13 HRs this year in 108 1/3 innings, one shy of Corey Thurman, who is tied for 3rd in the SL in home runs allowed.

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By the way, in the Manatee game's 9th inning, reliever Patrick Ryan had to leave the game after a single back to the box hit his leg. Hopefully he'll be OK.


Well folks, it's rare when it happens, but I think staff (including myself) were just too miserable after Sunday's Milwaukee fiasco to do the Link Report justice.


We've given you all the good news here, as the Sounds, Power, and the Helena kids all lost. Of course, we'll fill in the details later today, it just won't be during these early morning hours. The box score links in the Daily Menu are still valid, so you can peek in on those now. Thanks for your patience.

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Nashville Pre-Game Audio Coaches Chat with Hitting Coach Harry Spilman:



Final: Tacoma (Mariners) 9, Nashville 8, ten innings


Nashville Site Game Summary:

Link for Chris Barnwell photo, text follows --




Sounds Blow Late Lead, Drop Series Opener


TACOMA, Wash. - The Tacoma Rainiers plated three runs in the bottom of the tenth inning to erase a two-run deficit and hang a 9-8 defeat on the Nashville Sounds on Sunday afternoon at Cheney Stadium in the opener of a four-game series.


With the loss, Nashville (69-46) had its lead reduced to 5 ½ games over Iowa in the PCL American Conference Northern Division. The Sounds fell to 5-4 in extra-inning contests and suffered their 15th last at-bat loss of the season.


Trailing 8-6, Tacoma loaded the bases with one out against Sounds closer Luther Hackman on singles by Ronnie Prettyman and Nick Green sandwiched around a Sebastien Boucher walk. After Jeremy Reed drew a bases-full walk to force home Prettyman to reduce the Nashville advantage to one, Brant Ust followed by ripping the first pitch he saw from Hackman to right for a game-ending two-run single.


Prior to the Rainiers' outburst in the bottom of the tenth, Brad Nelson delivered a bases-loaded, two-run double in the top of the frame to give Nashville a short-lived 8-6 lead.


Cesar Jimenez (1-1) backed into his first win of the season for Tacoma after allowing two runs in his two innings of work. Hackman (1-2) drew the loss for the Sounds.


The Sounds struck first in the back-and-forth contest, taking a 1-0 advantage in the top of the first inning when Callix Crabbe opened the game with a walk and later scored on Andy Abad's two-out RBI single against Tacoma starter Jake Woods.


Nashville pulled further ahead with a four-run third against Woods, plating all the runs with two outs in the inning. Rickie Weeks doubled to open the frame, Vinny Rottino singled, and Laynce Nix walked to load the bases with one out. After Nelson struck out, Drew Anderson - who extended the Sounds' longest active hit streak to nine games with a second-inning double - increased the Nashville lead to 2-0 with an infield single to third. Chris Barnwell followed with a bases-clearing, three-run double to left to extend the Nashville advantage to 5-0.


AUDIO: Barnwell Bases-Clearing Double --




Tacoma stormed back to tie the game at 5-5 with a five-run fourth inning against Sounds starter Mark DiFelice. Prettyman pulled the home team within a run when he slugged a two-out grand slam to right, his fourth home run of the year. Later in the frame, Boucher knotted the game with a run-scoring double.


The Rainiers took a 6-5 lead in the fifth on Jeff Clement's two-out RBI single, which chased DiFelice from the contest.


The Sounds rallied to tie the game a half-inning later when Gabe Gross belted his third home run in the last two games, a two-out solo shot to right off reliever Juan Done. It was the outfielder's fourth longball since joining Nashville.


The teams continue the series with a 9:05 p.m. CT meeting on Monday. Right-hander Seth McClung (0-0, 0.00) will make his first start of the season for Nashville and face Tacoma left-hander Brad Thomas (5-5, 5.31).


Nashville Box Score:

Tacoma's Ronnie Prettyman a former Brewer draft pick; Gabe Gross just absolutely raking since Game Two of his demotion, and Drew Anderson's resurgance should not be be understated; Steve Bray's relief outing absolutely stellar, while Mark DiFelice was way overdue for a clunker start...




Nashville Game Log:



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Final: Billings (Reds) 6, Helena 4


Helena Site Game Summary:


Billings Takes Series Opener


HELENA - Brewer starter Chad Robinson allowed only one run and Helena trailed by one run entering the ninth inning, but did not pull any closer. The Billings Mustangs scored one more run in the top of the ninth inning to win 6-4.


In just his second start of the season, Robinson threw four innings and allowed just one run on five hits; he also struck out four Mustangs. Pitcher R.J. Seidel allowed three runs in two innings and Dan Merklinger tossed the final three innings; Merklinger allowed two runs and struck out five.


Mustang pitchers held the Brewers off the scoreboard until the seventh inning; however, by that time Billings led 5-0. With two outs and two runners on Zach McAngus hit a three-run home run, his second of the season. Helena pulled within one run by adding another run in the eighth inning. Caleb Gindl hit his fourth home run to cut the deficit to 5-4.


The Brewers brought the winning run to the plate in Gindl during the ninth with two outs, but Mustang closer Scott Gaffney got the strike out to end the game.


Offensively, McAngus, Eric Farris, and Jonathan Lucroy each finished the day with two hits. Helena will look to end its four-game losing streak Monday at 7:05 PM (8:05 Central) when the Brewers play host to the Billings Mustangs.




Link while active, text follows:




Too little, too late for Brewers

By JASON SCOTT, Helena Independent Record Sports Writer

The Brewer bats got hot late Sunday - a little too late.


Helena added some late magic, but the Billings Mustangs were able to coast to a win, sending the Brewers to their fourth straight loss, 6-4.


"It was a tough loss," said Brewers manager Jeff Isom. "We had the opportunity to win with one swing, but we came up short."


Mustangs starter Harris Honeycutt pitched outstanding baseball for four innings, allowing no runs on two hits while striking out four.


"We've had a little bit of a letdown after winning the first half," said Isom. "We expended so much energy trying to get into the playoffs. We just need to start focusing offensively and defensively. We've got the talent."


Billings scored in the first inning when DH Michael McKennon doubled to bring in shortstop Todd Frazier. Frazier later hit a solo shot in the fifth to make the score 2-0.


In the sixth, Brandon Waring led off with a double, followed by walks to Brett Bartles and Jake Long.


With the bases loaded, Wayne Kendrick hit into a fielder's choice that brought in Waring.


Jonathan Lucroy then attempted to pick Kendrick off, but threw the ball into right field to allow Bartles to score.


The Mustangs again loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh and scored center fielder Brandon Menchaca on a 6-4-3 fielder's choice double play.


Then the Brewers got started. Helena didn't put any runs on the board until the bottom of the seventh, when third baseman Zach McAngus drilled a 3-2 fastball over the right center field wall for a three-run homer that brought in Lucroy and Anthony Wycklendt.


A leadoff solo homer to dead center by Caleb Gindl made the score 5-4 in the eighth, but that was all the Brewers could manage.


In the ninth, Billings scored again on a couple of disputed calls.


Leadoff hitter Justin Reed hit a ball down the first base line that was called fair by first base umpire Kyle Byrne.


The ball rolled into the corner, ending up as a triple to start the inning. First baseman Curt Rindal argued that the ball was foul, but the call stood.


Later in the inning, Byrne called a balk on Brewers reliever Dan Merklinger, bringing in Reed.


Helena had a chance to come back in the bottom of the ninth, but came up empty. Billings reliever Scott Gaffney struck out Wycklendt to start the inning, then allowed a single to McAngus. Lee Haydel then struck out looking at a ball Brewer fans thought to be low. Eric Farris followed with a single, bringing the winning run to the plate in the form of Gindl. Unfortunately, he struck out looking at the same pitch Haydel had, ending the game.


Declining to comment on the calls, Isom said, "We can't leave it in the umpires' hands. We need to be aggressive in those situations."


The loss was Helena's fourth in a row, moving them to 2-5 in the second half.


The Brewers face off against the Stallions again Monday at 7:05 PM (8:05 Central) at Kindrick Legion Field.


Helena Box Score:

Matt LaPorta 0-for-4, played left field; RHP Chad Robinson's outing sure encouraging...




Helena Game Log:


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Final: Rome (Braves) 6, West Virginia 4


West Virginia Site Game Summary:




West Virginia had the tying run at second and the go-ahead run at first when Ryne Reynoso struck out Andy Bouchie with the bases loaded to end Sunday afternoon's game at State Mutual Stadium as the Braves took the third game of the series by the final of 6-4.


West Virginia took the early 1-0 lead in the second inning when Chuckie Caufield scored on Taylor Green's groundout. The Braves answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. John Alonso's fielding error allowed Tyler Flowers to score the first run of the inning. With runners on first and third, the Power had Concepcion Rodriguez in a rundown between first and second base, allowing Chase Fontaine to score and give the Braves the lead. Flowers delivered an RBI single in the third inning and Travis Jones's sacrifice fly plated Victor Hernandez in the fourth.


Green led off the fifth inning with a double and scored on an errant throw from Yohan Silva in center field. Silva redeemed himself with a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Power scored twice in the ninth. John Alonso reached on Robert Marcial's error at third base, scoring Jimmy Mojica and Kenny Holmberg ripped an RBI single.


Cole Rohrbough (1-0) allowed a run on two hits over five innings to get the win, Ryne Reynoso (5) got the save and Chris Toneguzzi (4-2) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs on five hits over four innings.


The Power fell to 67-44 overall and 19-24 in the second half, while the Braves improved to 53-60 overall and 24-19 in the second half with the win. West Virginia has now lost four in a row. Taylor Green reached three times, scored twice and knocked in a run.


The Power will finish the four game series against Rome Monday night. The Power will start right hander Jeremy Jeffress (7-4, 3.34) and the Braves will counter with right hander Kyle Cofield (4-6, 3.53). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM (6:00 Central).


West Virginia Box Score:



West Virginia Game Log:



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